Re: feedback and sharing knowledge

Geoff Smith (
Fri, 26 Sep 1997 15:43:29 -0700 (PDT)

On Sat, 27 Sep 1997, Joao Pedro wrote:

> Hi!
> Geoff Smith wrote:
> > > Like I mentioned before, I know the meaning of the word but I couldn't
> > > find an appropriate application for it in economy, in the context of our
> > > argument, in explaining to me the author's (EvMich) point of view. Like
> > > I said a thousand times, I don't know nothing of economics
> >
> > or english grammar ;)
> Why do you say that? Most people I met in the Internet say I have an
> excellent English. Even when I go abroad and have to speak English,
> no-one has ever said I had a bad knowledge of the English language,
> you're the first and I would like to know why.

I apoligize sincerely, it was a very mean thing for me to point out. In
general, your grammar is very good-- probably better than mine; however,
my little remark was in reference to your statement "I don't know nothing
of economics." When you say "don't know nothing," that is a
double-negative. It's almost as big a mistake as when I finish half my
sentences with a preposition. Ah, we're Science students, we don't know
nothing about grammar, do we?

> > > I love it, I teach anyone who asks me to, within the limits of my
> > > knowledge, even that I have to give the same answer 10, 20, 100, 500
> > > times.
> >
> > What if you are asked this question so many times, it begins to detract
> > from your aging research? Then, would you be so altruistic?
> It is just not being altruistic.

I agree, there may be some selfish advantages in having lots of other
people play guitar.

> A better example is my aging research,
> the more people I can teach about aging, the more people will be
> interested and start researching and the more people would try to solve
> the aging problem.

And so you must weigh the advantages of spending your time teaching others
and spending your time actually doing research. When you spend too much
time teaching others, you have to cut back so you can do more research.
This is all anyone on the list is saying: too much time is being spent on
answering basic questions(as opposed to more complicated and unanswered
question), so people asking these questions are being discouraged in
favour of going and reading a book.

>The more people try to solve the aging problem, the
> quicker will it be solve, the better for all of us, including myself.
> Answering your question, if someone woke me up to ask me how to play a B
> chord, I would be upset because that persons disturbed my sleep.

As some people on this list are disturbed by the massive amount of mail in
their box every day from people asking the same basics questions, over and

> > > Instead of being a small group of which no-one (at least in Portugal)
> > > has ever heard of, and taking 20, 50, 100 or 500 years to develop
> > > nanotech and life extension, if others would support "our" (this is a
> > > "our" between commas because I don't agree with all your principles)
> > > cause this objectives would much soon be achieved.
> >
> > True, but this should be achieved without coercion. I take responsibility
> > for my own education- I don't expect others to be there to answer my
> > questions when the answers are at my local library. Once I have this
> > information, I can make an informed debate, and decide for myself the
> > validity of this information.
> That is why most persons never heard of extropianism. Do you think that
> is a good thing?
> All I'm trying to say is that I disagree with this kind of attitudes and
> I think that trying to convert persons to "our" cause is a good thing
> that should be pursued. It takes work, of course, but it is, IMHO, the
> right decision. The rules of the list are clear, the list doesn't exist
> to make converts, I respect that although I disagree.

There is a very simple solution to your disagreement: start a new list.
The list's purpose would be to debate the fundamentals of extropianism.
No question is too basic, newbies welcome and encouraged. There is
already a usenet newsgroup called "alt.extropians" that isn't being used,
all you need to do is get people there.

> > If I told you "the A chord isn't actually an A, it's a B flat", you would
> > say I'm wrong. What if I replied: "I don't believe you, but I don't want
> > to read any books on subject... maybe I will eventually get around to it.
> > In the mean time, I don't believe you. It's obvious that the A chord is
> > actually B flat, I don't understand how you can even begin to think it's
> > not." Wouldn't that make you a little frustrated? (come on, be honest ;)
> Yes but if you ask 100 guitar player what is an A chord, they will ALL
> give you the same answer. However, if you ask 100 economists if
> free-markets are the best solutions, they won't give you the same
> answer.

I have yet to have an economics professor or teaching assistant who
doesn't think a free-market is the best solution. If you admit you
haven't read any books on economics, how can you make this statement?

> Free-markets is not (at least for many people) the best
> solution, it's not the ultimate truth.

No, but what is?

> An A chord is always an A chord
> and if anyone disagrees on that he is immediately wrong,

I think you should go to your local library or even the internet, and
search for the word "epistemology" before you make a statement like that.
What makes you so sure? Why is he "immediately wrong"?

> if someone
> disagrees with free-markets he is not necessarily wrong.

I won't argue with that. I don't think anyone here is "sure" that
free-markets are best solution; however, most people on the list have yet
to encounter a better system, so they are "pretty sure" When you
criticise free-markets, people are not saying "you are wrong to criticise
free-markets" What people are saying is that they have heard your same
questions before, many times, and the answers are all addressed in books
which are mentioned in the introductory message to this list.
If more people read these books, there would be a more informed discussion
on this list, and theoretically more could be accomplished. I think the
more established list members are tired of newbies throwing out statements
without a shred of evidence, then telling everyone that they have
"closed-minds" when the newbie get's his argument torn to pieces. I
haven't been here long enough to be annoyed when someone brings up a basic
question, but I can understand why some members are. As I mentioned
before, start a new list instead of trying to alter the purpose of this